Published November 8, 2014
The Wildcats Capture Third Place in the Sunbelt
Paloma Valley Head Coach Bert Esposito shook things up in the final game of the 2014 regular season by going to a two quarterback rotation. The strategy worked for Wildcats as Jake Newton started and then took most of the snaps in Friday night as he completed 21 passes 238 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Pohaku Kaheaku-Paiva, the Wildcat’s regular starting quarterback caught two of Newton’s TD passes, ran for another and was clutch in the final quarter as he hit wide receiver David Hamilton for the game winning touchdown with 4:18 remaining on the clock. “Man, our kids just stepped up tonight,” said Paloma Valley coach Bert Esposito “We just did what we needed to tonight.”
The Wildcats got off to a quick start as they scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. First junior running back Khayrii Joyner darted 12-yards into the end zone, Then Newton hit Kaheaku-Paiva with a 26-yard touchdown pass and another to senior Izaiah Cameron for an 8-yard pass for the score.
The Titans hung tough, scoring on running back Michael Erim’s 45-yard run. Artie Barrera returned a Wildcat kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter for the Titans. Both teams scored in the second quarter and the score was 28-21 as the second half began.
Temescal Canyon tied the game at the end of the third quarter as Titan quarterback Justin Gomez led a drive downfield from his own 20-yard line. Gomez scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper to set up the fourth quarter dramatics.
Paloma Valley struck next as the Wildcats scored on Kaheaku-Paiva’s third touchdown of the game. Kaheaku-Paiva’s three yard quarterback keeper put Paloma Valley up by seven. Temescal Canyon was not done. Gomez led the Titans downfield again to tie the score at 35 as he hit senior wide receiver Brad Westwood in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown.
The Wildcats scored again with 4:18 remaining in the game as Kaheaku-Paiva found senior wide receiver David Hamilton in the back of the end zone. The 27-yard pass would prove to be the game winning score as Gomez was intercepted by senior defensive back Ruben Colon on the Titans final drive. CIF SS Inland Division Playoff brackets, dates and times will be announced Sunday.